All you took – poem NaPoWriMo 24

We were the roofbeams of this house –
together, you and I – and when
you raised yourself above me,
on your strong arms, I was
protected from the world,

and I gave you the key
to all my secret spaces –
led you in, let you roam freely.

You were the table that we sat at –
talked at, ate, drank at –
sharing time, and food, and love –

and you were the music in this house,
the flickering colour, movement,
the sheer joy of song, and living.

Now: nothing. You took everything,
and I am left alone. One feather,
dropped, careless, as you left, mocks me,
mimicking a tear.

It’s Day 24 of NaPoWriMo, and this is not what I expected to write. The prompt was to take a reference book, open it randomly, and be inspired by something on the pages in front of you. I chose Brian Cox’s “The Human Universe”, and opened on a page that was about the development of Newtonian mathematics. It was quite interesting, I could feel something stirring, maybe. Then I read on, and we got onto early writing. The earliest known piece of writing is about a court case between two priests. One left their shared house, taking a key to an upstairs room, two wooden beams, a table and six birds. That’s a poem in itself.


She doesn’t want to write about love

She’s not going to write about love –
because everyone writes about love,
and everyone knows
that love is a rose
and love is a thorn,
and love is a glistening
bead of blood on a fingertip.

There’s so much more to life
than love – there’s moonlight,
and reading, and bottomless coffees,
but everyone knows that
love is a warm jolt of caffeine,
and love is a poem,
and love is the moon,
and love is a lone wolf howling,

and even when she strips
the metaphors out of her work,
writing a forest – a real one –
she drove there, and pressed her hand
into the bark of a tree
’til her palm was marked,
still everyone knows
that love is a tree,
and love is a forest,
and love is the road
that carries you there.


“Love is raw as freshly cut meat,

mean as a beetle on the track of dung”

~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason


Day 20 of this 28 day delve into the world of Jim Harrison. Jilly is hosting a month of Unreason. Check it out. There’s some great stuff being written there.


I did Nanowrimo. And I “won” – which seems like a funny way of describing it, but there you go. It was an interesting experience, and I think I learnt quite a few interesting things from it.

First of all, I can write. I don’t know if I can write well, but I can write a lot of words. That was a surprise to me, actually, and was the reason why I took on the challenge. I wanted to test myself. Now I’ve got 50,000 words – or just over, and I’m wondering what to do with them. There’s a lot of work to do before that lot looks like a book.

I also found out that to keep up that level of wordcount is hard, especially if you’re working, and trying to keep on top of the washing and feeding people. I cut out a lot of my usual self maintenance, and I need to pick that up again. So I don’t think that I could do it on a long term basis.

It was an amazing creative activity, though. Along the way a fairly minor character stepped forward and took over the whole plot. My original story shrank. A whole lot of new people I’d never thought of appeared and started doing stuff. And it was fun. More fun than real life, some of the time – potentially addictive, I think.

I’m glad I did it. I don’t think I’ll do it again – November’s a busy month for me. Mind you, all months are busy. However, I have discovered things about my own creativity, and what works for me that I probably wouldn’t have discovered without taking this on. From that point of view it was well worth doing. Now I’m caught up in Christmas, but next year (when the world gets too much…) I think I might have a go at polishing up this tangle of words and seeing what it looks like.

Wish me luck!